Every summer leading into and throughout the NFL season, Sports Illustrated and SI.com Senior Fantasy Analyst Michael Fabiano joins Sports360AZ.com to share his insight on building and developing your fantasy team for success.
Here are some highlights from our most recent conversation (October 6th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.
What’s the biggest fantasy trend you’ve seen through the first four weeks? “Injuries have wreaked havoc on the NFL. Some people will say, ‘Well, there’s always injuries.’ But there’s been some injuries to some of the top players – Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Michael Thomas, Davonte Adams. Julio Jones can’t stay healthy with his hamstring. The trend is you’ve been having to play the waiver wire a lot and you’ve been having to play the matchups a lot. You’re kind of putting your fantasy hopes and dreams on a week-to-week basis. A lot more players coming off the wire that you’re starting and the quarterback position has gotten even deeper – if that’s even possible.”
Has D.K. Metcalf been one of the pleasant fantasy surprises in the first month of the season? “D.K. Metcalf has been awesome. He’s the WR10 right now. You probably drafted him to be your WR2 or WR3. He’s averaging 18 points per game.”
What’s Baker Mayfield’s value at this point? “Baker Mayfield is among the quarterbacks who have thrown the ball the least this year. I feel like that’s maybe because they’re trying to keep him from turning the ball over and making bad decisions. He’s really been a game manager, honestly. He’s not even averaging 16 points per game this year over the first four weeks. I still feel like they’re going to try to run the ball and Kareem Hunt is obviously you’re biggest beneficiary there.”
Why has Kenyan Drake struggled so much here in Arizona? “Every time Kenyan Drake has had expectations, he has not lived up to them. When Drake has actually been a good fantasy option has been when there have been no expectations on him whatsoever. That kind of happened with Doug Martin in his career between Tampa Bay and Oakland. Right now, I don’t think you can get a ham sandwich for Kenyan Drake in a trade either so you’re probably stuck with him at this point.”
Is Josh Allen the 2019 version of Lamar Jackson when it comes to fantasy production? “He might be. Lamar Jackson was going to break Patrick Mahomes’ record for fantasy points by a quarterback last year but he was held out in Week 17 because the Ravens didn’t need him because they already wrapped up their playoff seeding. I don’t know if Allen is there. Dak will score more fantasy points than Allen. He’s been going crazy…but Josh Allen has been great. He’s been one of the absolute best draft bargains at the quarterback position.”
Leave us with something you’ve been dying share from the fantasy world. “If you are in a league that starts kickers and most people are, kickers don’t get enough love. Rodrigo Blankenship right now is one of the top kickers in fantasy football and he’s not owned in 50 percent of ESPN leagues. I’ve had Blankenship on my roster almost all year and he’s been absolutely great. If I could get 10-12 points from my kicker every single week, that’s going to help me win. So pick him up if he’s available.”
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